NASCAR has announced the calendar for the 2022 season: The Clash moves to the West Coast and Gateway comes into the Cup
NASCAR Cup Series (by André Wiegold)
NASCAR has released the Cup calendar for the 2022 season. There are a total of two new additions: The Clash moves from Daytona to the West Coast, where racing will take place on a temporary track at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Like Bowman Grey Stadium, for example, the track will be only a few hundred meters long and feature hardly any banking. Furthermore, the Cup Series will also make a start at the World Wide Technology Raceway in Gateway next season. The season kicks off on February 20 with the Daytona 500.
In the 2021 playoffs, four drivers have already had to bury their dreams of winning the championship: Aric Almirola, Tyler Reddick, Kurt Busch and Michael McDowell did not make it to the “Round of 12.” The first playoff round saw three different winners: Denny Hamlin celebrated his first win of the season at Darlington, Martin Truex Jr. defeated the competition at Richmond and Kyle Larson drove into Victory Lane at Bristol.
In the race at the “Last Great Colosseum” in Bristol, NASCAR veteran Kevin Harvick and current champion Chase Elliott clashed. After a few skirmishes on the track, the two engaged in a fiery battle of words after the race. Fists remained down, however. Neither Harvick nor Elliott has yet been forthcoming or admitted fault after the action.
NASCAR Xfinity Series (by André Wiegold)
In the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the twelve-driver playoff field for the 2021 season has been found at Bristol Motor Speedway. Current champion Austin Cindric claimed the regular season win with five race wins.
Also in the mix are: AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley, Daniel Hemric, Jeb Burton, Harrison Burton, Myatt Snider, Brandon Jones, Riley Herbst and Jeremy Clements. A total of five drivers qualified for the final round without a win via points
The race in Bristol ended with a big bang: Cindric and Allmendinger got in each other’s way just a few meters before the finish line and there was contact. Both cars spun out of control, which is why Allmendinger slid across to win, while Cindric also crossed the finish line in second place in the slide.
There is also movement in the Silly Season: Gragson will compete another year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and continue to pilot the #9 JR Motorsports car. The youngster has been linked to a Cup cockpit in the past, but he has yet to make the move to the top tier as a full-time driver.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (by Simon Mones)
At the end of August, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series was the first of the three national leagues to start its playoffs. The victory was secured by Sheldon Creed – despite a brief power failure. In addition, the GMS Racing driver also secured both stage wins and led 142 of the 163 laps.
In the second race at Darlington, it was Creed again who was able to celebrate in Victory Lane. The GMS driver edged out John Hunter Nemechek in the battle for the win. “What a start to the playoffs,” Creed said after his second playoff win. “We started the race with a lot of understeer and I thought, ‘Oh no, we’re in trouble,’ but the guys worked on it and the pit crew gave its best throughout the day.”
Smith wins at Bristol
Also at the conclusion of the “Round of 10” at Bristol, Creed was the driver to beat. With five laps to go, the GMS led the field to the final restart. Shortly after, it was a three-car race around the oval with Chandler Smith and Nemechek. Initially, Nemechek took the lead but lost it to his KBM teammate shortly thereafter. Smith never gave away the lead and finished 0.422 seconds ahead of Grant Enfinger.
For Todd Gilliland and Austin Hill, meanwhile, the title dreams ended at Bristol. In addition to the two winners Creed and Smith, Nemechek, Matt Crafton, Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith and Ben Rhodes are also in the “Round of 8”. But Creed, who is in first place in the playoff standings, has the best position in title contention.
Creed to start for RCR in the Xfinity Series in 2022
The GMS driver also has another reason to celebrate. That’s because next season, the 24-year-old will compete for Richard Childress Racing in the Xfinity Series, where he will pilot the #2 Chevrolet.
“Sheldon has proven to be a talented driver in his short NASCAR career and we know he will contribute to RCR’s competitive NASCAR Xfinity Series program with his drive to succeed,” said Richard Childress.
Creed also expressed excitement about competing for the RCR team next year. “So many current NASCAR Cup Series stars have started their careers in RCR’s NASCAR Xfinity Series program, so it is an honor to be able to add my name to this prestigious list. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to 2022.”